A recent poll from the Trevor Project found that the mental health of LGBTQ youth has been significantly impacted by the slew of anti-trans legislation being proposed in state legislatures.
About 66% of LGBTQ youth said the debates on trans rights taking place around the country have had a negative impact on their mental health. 85% of trans and non-binary youth said the same.
“These results underscore how recent politics and ongoing crises facing the globe can have a real, negative impact on LGBTQ young people, a group consistently found to be at significantly increased risk for depression, anxiety and attempting suicide because of how they are mistreated and stigmatized in society,” said Trevor Project CEO Amit Paley in a statement.
The 820 respondents between the ages of 13 and 24 also answered questions on how anti-trans sports bans have made them feel. 62% said angry, 48% said sad, and 30% said stressed.
Trans and non-binary youth felt these emotions at higher levels, with 74% feeling angry, 57% feeling sad, and 43% feeling stressed.
When LGBTQ youth were asked the same questions about laws that prevent doctors from providing gender-affirming care to trans and non-binary youth, 65% said it made them angry, 49% said it made them sad, and 34% said it made them stressed.
For trans and non-binary youth, 73% said it made them angry, 57% said sad, and 47% said stressed.
And for school policies requiring staff to out trans and non-binary youth to their parents, the predominant feeling was anger, following by nervousness, fear, and stress.
2021 was a record year for anti-trans legislation in state legislatures, and it is clear the attacks on the rights and dignity of queer and trans youth are causing significant mental distress.
In Texas alone, over 70 anti-LGBTQ bills were filed in 2021.
What’s more, 10 states have laws on the books banning trans youth from playing sports on the team that aligns with their gender identity–though in two states, West Virginia and Idaho, there are temporary injunctions blocking them from being enforced.
And the onslaught doesn’t seem to be slowing.
In the first week of the new year, a whopping seven states introduced bills targeting trans young people. Republican lawmakers continue to fight to restrict gender-affirming health care, prevent trans youth from playing sports, and ban them from bathrooms and locker rooms.
70% of respondents to the Trevor Project’s survey said they follow news about trans issues. The youth are paying attention, and it could have dire effects.